“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
In “Three Talks in a Sculptor’s studio” an essay in Only the Lover Sings, the philosopher Joseph Pieper considers the role of contemplation to the artist’s process:
How meticulously, how intensively—with the heart, as it were—must a sculptor have gazed on a human face before being able to render a portrait . . . to see in contemplation, moreover, is not limited to the tangible surface of reality; it certainly perceives more than appearances. An art flowing from contemplation does not attempt to to copy reality as rather to capture the archetypes of all that is. Such art does not want to depict what everybody already sees but to make visible what not everybody sees.
Blind heart, clay heart, waiting for the breeze to casually drop a seed and so awaken as a seeing being. . .
How would you describe your own creative process? Comments welcome.